Nightmares Deferred, Chapter 2

Chapter 2- The Slightest Inconvenience

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it”
-Mark Twain

“Fuck!”

I turn around and realize that Malone has broken down the bathroom door. He’s standing there with this look on his face. This look that tells me he was really concerned. He was concerned enough to break the hinges off of a fucking door! He’s looking down at me and I’m looking up at him.

“You OK?” he asks, “I been calling you forever. I heard talking like you were arguing with someone. I thought something was wrong with you.”

I can’t explain the mirror devil. I don’t want to, but he’s looking at me with this sense of worry and I notice he looks like he was ready to go to war.

“You was about to bust a cap, huh?” I can tell from his stance.

“Man, you just don’t know.”

We start laughing at that moment at ourselves. The fact that I was freaking out in the bathroom and he was there like black Rambo was hilarious. What makes things even more hilarious was when there is a guy who looked like he worked for the building seeing the broken door and Malone looking clueless.

“Gotta go!” Malone grabs my hand and busts through the guy looking over at us.

The guy is cussing at us from behind but Malone doesn’t care and for some reason, I don’t either. We’re laughing like two kids as we run down the hallway. We’re in this building. It has to be one of the nicest buildings I’ve ever seen in my life. I remember Malone and I wondering if the B&R sign on the front and the building was as tall as he was. The hallways of this place his red velvet carpet just because these folks didn’t seem to want to cut any corners. The elevators looked like they were made of solid gold. As we get off the elevators we are in the penthouse suite.

The penthouse suite had authentic like Greek statues lined up in the hallways. All the furniture was made out of glass. All the walls were made out of glass. Almost everything in this office was see-through except for one private room at the end of the hallway.

“You must be here looking for Diamonte Rose,” someone states.

“I am…”

“Troy Roussand,” she states, “I know. I’m Ohio.”

“Like the state?” Malone asks.

He gives me a look. He’s wondering the same thing I was wondering. Maybe these wealthy motherfuckers had weird names or something. This woman Ohio looked like the type of woman got along far in life. She was a white girl with platinum blonde hair and a round pretty face. She looked like she should be riding dragons in Game of Thrones or something. She has a fierce stance as well as she’s standing there in heels and a form-fitting skirt.

At least I know Malone isn’t checking her out. This type of girl is definitely not his type.

“Who’s this?” she asks.

“My friend, Malone. I emailed and let them know that—-”

She cuts me off again by putting her finger up, “No need for the small talk. Take whoever in there with you if that’s what you want. Just be aware that Mr. Rose in a bad mood. Do you know what happens when Mr. Rose is in a bad mood?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Neither do I,” she states, “Most of his assistants aren’t around long enough to know. I would like to survive this day with my job, so I’m asking. Please, please, do not piss off Diamonte Rose. He’s in there with the Alessa Bautista who owns half of Bautista and Rose.”

She walks away before giving us a signal for us to wait. I look over Malone realizing that half the words that came out of her mouth meant nothing to him. Malone was the type of guy to watch Scarface and pretend to be that guy. He wasn’t the type to know anything about Bautista and Rose. He couldn’t have known they were one of the top fashion houses in the world. He couldn’t have known that the visionary director of Bautista and Rose was Diamonte Rose. He was a gay man that I idolized. And he couldn’t have realized that Mr. Rose owed me a favor and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is so much that Malone didn’t know and looking over at him I have to admit I blame him. I fucking blame him for bringing me here in the first place.

“She is taking this Diamonte guy serious, huh?” Malone states.

“He’s Diamonte Rose,” I say.

Malone shrugs, “And I’m Malone Williams, mothafucka. He talks dirty to my little guy and I’ll slap the thread out his mouth.”

Knowing Malone I knew he was serious. Malone was rough around the edges. This wasn’t someplace that he frequented. He didn’t want to be here and the only reason he was because of me. I appreciated it. And that’s why I lean over and press my forehead against his forehead. We’re both tall enough to be able to do that comfortable. He’s just an inch taller than me at 6’2”.

“Malone I’ll need you to behave.”

“Nigga, for what?”

“For me.”

He pauses. At this point, we have our heads pressed against one another. I think he forgets where we are which is understandable because I do as well. We’re just staring at each other for a second. One of those awkward moments we have between each other usually in private when no one’s around. Well, there were people around right now. He leans over and cups my arm a little bit. His eyes follow my lips when I open them a little as though I wanted to say something.

And I did.

I wanted to tell him that I wanted more than just whatever the fuck it was we had going on. I wanted to tell him to leave Deja. And I knew he had three kids with her but he wasn’t in love with her. And he didn’t know anything about being gay but I would assure him that I’d teach him. I wanted to let him know that we could figure it out together.

I wanted to let Malone know he could be happy with me if he just allowed it.

But instead of doing all that I say, “Wish me luck?”

He bites his lips, maybe suspecting something else. I doubt it was anything close to what I expected to say to him though. Regardless of what was on his mind, he smiles as though remembering where we were and why we were here.

He pulls me into his chest letting me rest there for a moment and rubs the middle of my back really hard as though giving some of his strength over to me.

“I know you’ll kill it,” he states.

I smile.

Two minutes later Ohio comes back and she says, “They will see you now.”

~

I walk in the room to the look of a viper. It’s not hard to remember who Diamonte Rose was. There were other people in this room. It’s quite a large room with quite large windows. They are all dressed up as though they were on the set of Sex and the City. I’d always wondered if people in this world dressed so outstanding on a regular basis and now this was confirmation: Yes, they do. It’s as though I’m walking into a fashion show, down to the furniture. Everything looked intentional. Everything looked propped as if it was constructed in a designer’s mind.

And I realize who that designer is. He is short, quite a bit shorter than me. He has on a brief smile, one that is shuttered with expectation. He’s being pleasant but I can tell it’s uncomfortable to him. It’s hard to look at him. There’s something quite harsh about staring into his eyes. It’s as though I’m in the wild making eye contact with a lion asleep. There is a feeling like yes…this lion is domicile…for now. But if I keep looking this lion in the eyes maybe this lion won’t be so fucking nice. Maybe if I stare too long this lion is going to look at my puny eyes and remember it is a lion and I’m not. And the lion is going to start acting more like a lion. And the lion is going to rip my head off.

So no.

I look away from the lion towards the floor.

“I’m right here,” I hear Malone say behind me.

As I walk up I hear Diamonte Rose’s voice. The lion crosses his arms and stares at me with a smile, “Oh my god. Troy Roussand. How long has it been?”

“10 years.”

I say it too lightly. I know he doesn’t hear me. And I can feel his eyes staring at me. I keep hoping he’ll ask me to repeat myself so I can say it again but he doesn’t. Diamonte Rose just stares at me as though offended that I would respond to him in such a low frantic sound.

“You might want to say it a little louder…my boyfriend is a bit hard of hearing,” a voice states, “But I promise he means the best for an old friend. Hello again, Troy.”

I realize that it is Asher. He’d been the one keeping in contact with me all these years after I made the dress for Diamonte. Back then I was a kid and Asher had been refused by my mother. So I follow him out and offer to dress him. I’d heard him talking about Diamonte. I heard him mentioning their relationship. He wanted to impress Diamonte. And I helped him with that.

I’m surprised they’ve been together this long. And I’m also surprised that if they were together for this long that they were still referring to each other as ‘boyfriends’.
“It’s been 10 years.”

“Good,” Diamonte states, “I assume you know why you’re here. You have a job. I have someone you should meet. This is Stefano Bautista. Seems like my late husband had a son before he met me that I wasn’t aware of and for the last three years he’s been such…a…pleasure…”

I’m kind of taking in what Diamonte is telling me as I stall to turn. Diamonte had to be in his early 40s by now I think and his boyfriend Asher seemed much younger. I knew that his late husband was the Bautista side of the family. I’d followed the story but I didn’t know about the son out of wedlock. I turn around not knowing what to expect.

And I find myself pleasantly surprised.

Stefano Bautista stands at 6’2”. He has long curly hair and a black goatee. His hair is the darkest of blacks. His eyes are small and focused. His nose is long and hooked in a strange but masculine way. His jawline is perfection and those pink lips of his drive me crazy. I’d never dated outside of my race and never even knew I found guys outside of my race attractive.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Stefano states.

Stefano has a deep Italian accent. It literally sings out of his mouth to the point that I hardly understand at first what he says but it’s so fucking deep that it’s like Brazilian coffee in the winter. I find myself lost in him when he grabs my hand and kisses it gently before lifting up his eyes and staring at me with pitch black eyes. I mean they were the darkest of the dark. I’d never seen eyes so big and black. It’s like I fall in them the moment I see them.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence on my design skills,” I state, “But—-”

“After you created that beautiful gown that closed out my show did you think I wouldn’t want to hire you?” Diamonte Rose asks me, “You are an icon. You have golden hands. You are a true talent in this world and you have always been a part of the Bautista and Rose brand.”

“Perhaps we should discuss hiring…” a voice states.

I turn and see Alessa Bautista. Alessa Bautista was actually the one I designed the dress for all those years ago. She walked out in the finale look for Diamonte’s fashion show. She was a bigger woman but she owned half of the company after her late brother was murdered by her other brother. Let’s just say that the Bautistas we’re no strangers to fashion and no strangers to controversy.

“Aunt Alessa, I heard he was promising,” Stefano states, “Besides, I saw all the videos of how beautiful you looked in his gown all those years ago.”

Alessa sighs a bit before shrugging and admitting, “I did look quite stunning that day.”

That’s when Diamonte gives her a look.

“As I said, Troy Roussand can make the most impossible things happen,” he replies staring directly at Alessa in the most demeaning way I could imagine before finally turning to me and acknowledging, “I just wish it didn’t take you so long to decide to come and accept a job from me, Troy. Truly. You’ll be working under Stefano for the new men’s line.”

“Actually I heard about the new men’s line…” I start, “But—”

Diamonte cuts me off again, “Oh I know what you’re wondering. Compensation. Don’t worry about it. You’ll be handsomely rewarded for your contribution. I’m thinking several million after the looks have been created–”

Million?

All of a sudden I swallow my spit.

“He doesn’t want to sew,” someone interrupts, “He came to ask you if he could walk in the fashion show.”

It’s Malone. He’s so much braver than me. The thought of millions had made me all of a sudden reconsider what my passion was. Immediately I started to rework what I wanted to do to please someone else. And Malone was here for me. He was here to make sure that I hadn’t done that. And I see him in the corner of the room looking rather strict about it.

“Who’s this?” Stefano asks.

Malone stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean it was hard not to. Diamonte might have been as black as Malone and I but he was familiar with this world. He fit in with his boyfriend who looked racially ambiguous and all these foreign Italian people from the Bautista side of things. I didn’t fit in and if—-as a flamboyant gay man obsessed with fashion—-didn’t fit in then the thug in the corner definitely didn’t.

“My big friend,” I tell them smiling at Malone.

Malone gives me a nod. In a simple nod, he’s letting me know that he has my back and that he hasn’t left my side.

Diamonte smiles, “Can you tell your ‘big friend’ that I don’t speak thug? The little I was able to interpret didn’t quite make sense.”

Ohio walks up to her boss and says, “Sir, I believe he is saying that Troy Roussand doesn’t want to design clothing. He is saying that Troy Roussand wants to be a model. Troy Roussand wants to walk the runway—-”

“I thought that was what I heard,” Diamonte states and starts laughing, “But surely I thought it was a mistake. Troy—-this is misunderstanding right?”

He looks at me with all these eyes. For the first time, I realized that Diamonte may have been waiting for me to come to him. It might have been more than expected. He wanted me to come here and he wanted me to design for him.

“I came here to audition to be a model for your men’s line.”

There is a silence that comes across the room. They all for some reason have turned to look at Diamonte. Malone and I instead look at one another. I’m not sure what we had just walked in on but it was definitely freaky. Slowly I turn my head to face Diamonte and see the face looking back at me. He has this expression that I am almost frightened of.

He looks so fucking serious.

“I’ve been waiting for 10 years for this little piece of shit to tell me that he wants to parade in underwear instead of being my fucking protégé?”

“Yo who you calling a little piece of shit?” Malone asks.

At that point, he takes a few steps to Diamonte. Diamonte jerks back and a few people run to get in his way.

“Let’s calm everything down,” Stefano suggests.

“Don’t tell me to calm down. Tell him to be respectful,” is Malone’s response.

“We’re good,” I assure Stefano before looking back at Malone and giving him the meanest look I could muster.

He had promised to behave and he knew it. Maybe that’s why the look causes him to turn down and sink up against the nearest wall. I can’t believe this meeting was going this bad and it just started. When I turn back it was clear gangsta ass Malone had shaken up a few people in the room.

“Actually you know what, I would like to see you walk. Right now, right here show us what you got,” Diamonte states, “Under one condition.”

“What?”

“Your friend walks as well.”

I look over at Malone. I walk over to him. I turn him to the side away from the others. I give him a look. A look of desperation. I don’t know why they wanted him to walk. It didn’t make sense but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter. This was my dream.

“Please…” is all I get out.

“You don’t even have to ask. I’m here for you. But I’m only doing this for you,” he assures me.

I nod.

We turn to the others and it’s Diamonte Rose’s eyes who catches mine.

Diamonte doesn’t beat around the bush, “What are you waiting for, little boy? You wanted your opportunity and you got it now. Walk! What are you waiting for? Jesus to come back from the dead? Fashion doesn’t revive, Troy. That’s one lesson you can take from today. Fashion doesn’t revive. Fashion kills.”

I have no choice but to walk. He’s calling me out and he knows what he’s doing. All of a sudden I can feel all the eyes in the room staring at me. They are imagining me in their clothes and the designs that they put their blood, sweat, and tears into designing. A model was more than just a pretty picture. A model was a vision. And for so long I was the person who made those clothes but for once in my life, I wanted to be the boy who got to wear those beautiful clothes.

If only for a little while.

I wanted to be beautiful.

And that’s when I remember the truth. The ugly truth.

“Paris is burning darling. His legs are the branches causing the fire,” Diamonte acknowledges out loud in front of everyone.

I hadn’t made it all the way up to him before having my dreams crushed. I look down my legs. He was right. I was too skinny. My legs were too awkward. I could start a fire with these things. I get up to him and look at Diamonte and see how disappointed he looks.

I don’t even walk back. I just step aside.

“Damn, Troy,” I hear Malone calling from the back of the room.

I’m broken. Completely. In a moment, Diamonte is able to completely break me. I look over at Malone wanting for him to come to me in some sort of way and help fix these pieces before they smashed completely but I think Diamonte realizes it’s happening too because he stops it almost immediately.

“A deal was a deal,” Diamonte offers Malone.

Malone looks irritated.

He didn’t know the first thing about modeling. He looks at all these people and he seems annoyed but then he starts walking. I have to admit Malone was handsome. He had this serious angst about him that he carried around on his face. He’d lived a tough life. His hardness made his face almost frozen solid. As he walks he commands attention. I’ll say he’s good at that, but then I look at his walk. I see the way that he strolls.

He had a bounce to his walk. A hood stroll as though he was a gangster on his way to the bodega hollering at shawties with fat asses when they walk by. That was just who Malone was. And I am not surprised when I hear the giggles of the people in the room as he gets to the front of the room.

Luckily I’m the only one who actually wanted to succeed at this. Malone just wanted to get this over with.

“Perfect.”

We all hear the word and think it’s a mistake. It seems even more of a mistake when I realize the word came from Diamonte Rose who was looking at Malone and nodding his head in acknowledgment.

“Perfect?” Alessa Bautista states, expressing the confusion that the rest of us were experiencing, “What is this? Boyz in the Runway? Menace II satin? Pain in Ferragamo? He’s a thug for godsakes…not a model.”

That was clear to everyone who saw that, including Malone who is looking at me trying to make sense of it. I just shrug unsure of what the hell Diamonte Rose was thinking.

“No, he’s perfect for the men’s line. This is where fashion is headed. To the streets. We need a model like him. Hood. Defined. Perfect.”

He uses the word again. Perfect. I don’t like the way he says it. I don’t like the way he stares at him. He had a boyfriend standing right there who was all exotic looking. Why not go over there? Why the hell was he staring at my little ghetto drug dealer as though he was something so amazing?

The way he looked at Malone was the way that I wish he looked at me.

“This wasn’t the direction that I was going in,” Stefano states.

“Well go in another direction and use him as your muse and finale model,” Diamonte tells Stefano.

Stefano doesn’t seem happy about it. I look at Alessa and a few other Italian people who all sort of had the same chiseled cheekbones and realize they must be the Bautistas. The Bautistas definitely didn’t seem to like this rode Diamonte was going down.

“What’s this mean?” Malone states, “I don’t know what the fuck is goin on.”

“I want to hire you…”

I look over at Malone. He seems confused.

“What about…Troy?”

“I will hire Troy as well,” Diamonte states, “Not as a model, but what I originally pegged him to do. Behind the scenes. Troy clearly isn’t ready to be a designer. So he’ll be an intern for me in the meantime….”

Malone shakes his head, “Nah fuck that. If he ain’t going to model for you then I ain’t. We out of here, Troy. Come on Troy. We are out here—-”

Malone is leaving. He’s on his way out when he stops. It’s as though he realizes something halfway out. He realizes I’m not following him. So he stops and he turns to me. We look at one another and he seems confused.

I shake my head.

I couldn’t pass up this deal. It wasn’t my dream. I knew that. But just like being stuck in my mother’s shop I realized that this was the only thing I had. This was the only thing that I was good at. I was a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.

I made clothes. I didn’t wear them.

“Really?” Malone asks, “You giving up?”

He’s surprised. I stop looking at him. There is one person who isn’t surprised though. I turn over and notice Diamonte who is already gathering his things up. He’s the only one here who seems to be getting exactly what he wants.

“Troy please say goodbye to your friend. Ohio will take down his information and contact him with a contract. You’ll stay behind and drive me home. That is your first task as my intern.”

I do what he says walking over to Malone knowing that he’s going to be disappointed in me. I can see it all over his face as he approaches me. He’s upset about this. I can see it.

“You trippin,” Malone states, “We can find another place for you to model. Don’t just take this job.”

“There is no other place. Diamonte Rose is a huge figure in the fashion world. He could destroy you if you cross him. I’m not going to do that. He wants me to be a fashion designer and honestly, maybe that has always been my calling—-”

“It’s not. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s your calling. You’re 25. You’re young. You’re vibrant. I asked you once if you could do anything in the world, what would you do. You told me it was modeling, nigga, MODELING! Not designing.”

“You’re right.”

“Money doesn’t matter. None of it matters if you aren’t happy.”

“My family looks at me like a failure,” I state, “I’m a mistake. I always have been. If I’m famous fashion designer maybe they’ll look at me differently. Maybe for once in my life, I’ll be worthy for them to be proud that I exist.”

He looks at me. He doesn’t understand what I mean. He couldn’t possibly. He doesn’t know about my dad. He doesn’t know about my granddad. He doesn’t know they were the same person.

So instead of trying to understand me, he shakes his head, “I ain’t doing this modeling shit. I’m a goon. What the fuck do I look like modeling?”

“Just try it. It’s money. Legit money.”

“Niggas in the hood would laugh at this,” he assures me, “I’m telling you. I’m not trying to play myself.”

“You won’t,” I assure him, “I’ll be right there.”

“You will?”

“Yeah. This could be a good thing. We’ll be working together,” I assure him, “If I’m helping Stefano Bautista work on the line and you are the muse I’m sure we can do it together. Make money together. Maybe this could be a new start…”

He pauses. He thinks about it. This was way out of his wheelbarrow. I could tell he was uncomfortable.

And I knew that he was worried about me. And I suspect perhaps it’s more of the worry that causes him to nod and agree to it.

“Fine…but the moment I see some shit I don’t like in this whole arrangement—-we are pulling out—–”

~

30 minutes later I’m still thinking about Malone. I’m acting like I’m excited for him. This is a new start for him. This is a chance to get him out of the hood and away from selling drugs. He needed to be away from that with Sims coming into the area. I knew Malone getting wrapped up with Sims would be a bad thing and I needed to avoid that at all costs.

I’m in the front seat of a Tesla. I’ve never driven a Tesla before. I’d never seen a Tesla up close. There is this navigation in the middle that looks big enough to be a fucking touchscreen computer. It was all some next level shit as I look up and see the tinted rooftop.

“You can drive. The address is preprogrammed in there,” Asher states, “Thanks for taking the job, Troy. I think you have so much talent and you definitely made the right choice.”

“Of course he made the right choice,” Diamonte responds, “This is B&R. He knows what he’s doing.”

I force a smile, “You’re right sir.”

“Get that modeling business all over in your head. It’s a waste of time and energy. You have REAL talent son…”

I can tell this is getting under Asher’s skin. It’s just a feeling. He doesn’t hide it when he reacts to what Diamonte says. I am driving at this point and trying to pay attention to the rode but I can’t help but feel the tension coming out of Asher.

“You met me when I was a model,” Asher tells him.

“This isn’t about you.”

“It is. You’re telling this young man that him wanting to be a model is a joke. So if I were following your logic then you look at me as though I’m some sort of joke.”

“You’ve been my partner for 10 years. How the hell do I consider you a joke?”

“The fact that I’ve asked you to marry me three times in those ten years and each time you’ve said no!” Asher states.

It gets awkward. Really awkward. Awkward and tense.

To the point that Diamonte clearly recognizes my presence.

“Not in front of the kid…” Diamonte states.

That was all the talking they did. Asher looks out of the window and Diamonte has on an expression that looks like everything is OK. And it’s just a feeling but when I look at them I can tell this isn’t the first time they’ve had to sweep arguments under the rug. I didn’t know much about Diamonte. I’d always found him quite frightening. But Asher had always kept up with me throughout the years asking me how things were and making sure that I was OK even from afar. I knew he was a good guy. I just wondered why Diamonte hadn’t let such a good guy marry him yet.

We get to the house and Asher just shakes his head, “I’ll go sleep at my dad’s tonight.”

“No need,” Diamonte states, “I’ll go to the private condo by the shore.”

“I thought you sold that.”

Asher doesn’t wait for a response. He’s pissed about this condo and slams the door right in front of Diamonte’s face. I couldn’t imagine anyone having that kind of power over Diamonte. I look over at Diamonte and honestly, I’m a bit concerned.

“Is everything OK?” I ask.

“Drive yourself home. I’ll take the car from there myself,” he states.

I start driving home at that moment. I look over at Diamonte. He still has on that expression like everything is OK. This is the first day I’m working for this man. He’d somehow pressured me into working for him and had been quite successful at it, but this doesn’t seem like a man who had all the power. For a moment I see someone who is confused. Someone who doesn’t know which way to head. He doesn’t know which way is up or down.

And for some reason, I feel him.

I feel sorry for this man they called the Shade King.

“Love is devastating isn’t it,” he asks me, “It’s as though once you fall in love your life is over.”

“Love isn’t the end of life. Death isn’t the end of life,” I state, “They are only a part of life. My mother used to say that to me all the time.”

There is a pause.

A few seconds later Diamonte shrugs, “Smart lady. Madame Roussand was quite popular back in the day. I haven’t heard from her in quite some time. She still making clothes?”

“Dead.”

“Really?” he asks, “I could have sworn someone just said they ran across her on the East Coast. Oh damn. It’s a shame huh. You over it?”

“Pretty much. She was a bitch. Left me with nothing.”

“Fuck her.”

“She’s still my mother,” I state slightly offended.

Diamonte shrugs, “Fuck her with two dicks then. No one should treat their child like they are disposable. You’ll learn. I have so much to teach you.”

“So you’ve been waiting?”

“What?”

“You’ve been waiting for me.”

There is silence. A silent acknowledgment. He’s looking at my eyes through the rearview mirror. The look on his face is almost intentional. I’m scared of him at this moment. I see intentions that I can’t put into words and for some reason, it scares the shit out of me. And then I look at myself. I look at myself in the mirror and see the mirror devil.

“He sees you,” the mirror devil whispers, “He sees you for the piece of shit you are.”

I shake my head, “NO!”

“What?”

“Sorry,” I reply, “Talking to myself.”

Diamonte nods, “I get it. And to answer your question. Yes, I’ve been waiting for you. The only contact we had was with your grandfather. We offered him so much money for you to come intern with us…”

“What?”

There is a pause.

“He never told you?” Diamonte asks.

All of a sudden, I get heated. I’m so heated. My grandfather saw me struggling to keep my mother’s shop afloat. He saw how hard it was when my mother had left me. All the income I made I had to pay back to all the debtors. And he never helped me. He watched me struggle. He enjoyed it when I struggled.

And he had gone out of his fuckin’ way to block any blessings I had.

I’m so angry I am racing down my street.

“Slow down…” Diamonte states.

I should have slowed down. I’m so angry though. All my life I just wanted to feel as though there were people who wanted me around honestly. Not like Landry who loved me but always looked disappointed when he thought I wasn’t looking. I wanted honest love. And I wanted to prove myself.

And now I was realizing I had the opportunity to prove myself this entire time and my Grandfather was blocking all those communications.

So I’m racing.

I’m furious. There are tears in my eyes.

That’s when I see it. Someone was walking across the street.

“WATCH OUT!” I hear Diamonte scream.

It’s too late. There is a loud boom! The car rattles and swerves to a stop. My chest is thrust forward and hits the steering wheel. The airbag explodes in my face. I feel it slam across my nose. My neck immediately feels sore as I barely have enough time to brace for impact. Afterward, I feel out of it. I move my neck a little bit and slowly push up against the airbag.

I am released from it and when I turn back I see Diamonte. His nose is bleeding. He looks over at me as though saying, “What the fuck did you just do?” without actually saying it.

We both get out. Both of us walk to the front of the car wondering what it was that I hit. I’m shaking at this point not really understanding it. When it’s time to actually see the damage, I look away afraid. Diamonte doesn’t though. He takes even more steps towards whatever it was at the front of the car. He takes a moment to assess it before turning back to me.

When he comes back to my face he has no emotion on his face at all.

“It’s a man,” Diamonte states.

“Fuck. Oh fuck. Oh, fuck.”

“Is he dead?”

“Dying… he won’t make it,” Diamonte states.

I walk over to the front of the car. I have no choice at this point. I just hit a man. I had to see if Diamonte was accurate in his description. Was this man actually going to die or was there a chance that I could save him? I had to know.

I had to do everything I could do.

That’s when I get to the front of the car and see that Diamonte is right. The man is dying. He has little time left. And he’s looking up at me, realizing that I’m the person who is going to take his life.

And there was other things.

I recognize this man laying on the ground.

“Grandpa…”